DEVELOPING THE HABIT OF PRAYER
by Pat Bryan, Pastor of Prayer
To learn and grow in prayer, we must develop the habit of prayer. It is through spending regular time with the Lord that we gain a hunger for more of Him and also become more like Him.
“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” Psalm 34:8
I found that as I began to pray, at first for short periods of time, my desire to pray grew and I began to pray more regularly and fervently. I think it is important to know that at times it is okay to pray for short periods and not allow the enemy to discourage us with guilt and thoughts of failure. But we must also realize that a powerful prayer life requires personal discipline; we shouldn’t sit around waiting for the motivation to pray. We must pray first, despite the fact that we may not feel “inspired”.
A good way to start Developing the Habit of Prayer is to:
- Establish a time of daily prayer that is compatible with your lifestyle;
- Choose a place of prayer, free of interruptions;
- Follow a prayer plan or pattern as a guideline when necessary.
Although some people do not like using Prayer Guides, I find them to be very helpful, not only as we’re learning but also when we are burdened, weary, or even wondering how to begin. “The Hour That Changes the World”, by Dick Eastman is a wonderful Prayer Guide which gives his plan for an hour of guided prayer. Notice that it begins and ends with Praise.
1. PRAISE - Recognize God’s nature (Psalm 63:3)
2. WAITING - Silent Soul Surrender (Psalm 46:10)
3. CONFESSION - Temple Cleansing (Psalm 139:23)
4. BIBLE READING - Word Enriched Prayer (Jeremiah 23:29)
5. WATCHING - Develop Holy Alertness (Colossians 4:2)
6. INTERCESSION - Remember The World (1 Timothy 2:1&2)
7. PETITION - Share Personal Needs (Matthew 7:7)
8. THANKSGIVING - Confess My Blessings (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
9. SINGING - Worship In Song (Psalm 100:2)
10. MEDITATION - Ponder Spiritual Themes (Joshua 1:8)
11. LISTENING - Receive Spiritual Instruction (Ecclesiastes 5:2)
12. PRAISE - Recognize God’s Nature (Psalm 52:9)
Remember, this is only a guide because our prayer time will vary as we are led by the Holy Spirit, but it is a wonderful foundation from which to build a powerful prayer life.
It is through the discipline of setting aside time and giving it priority in our lives that we develop the Habit of Prayer. This ultimately leads to more prayer as our hunger grows and we begin to see results as God moves more mightily in our lives because of our desire and devotion to spend time with Him! He is faithful!
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2